Ultralife Corporation

  • Overview

Maybe you could sum up Ultralife's business model as PC, as in power and communications, that is. The company's main business is the design and manufacture of rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, but, accounting for about a quarter of sales, its Communications Systems Division provides such products as amplified speakers and cable assemblies. Ultralife sells its products around the world to OEMs, distributors, and retailers. The US accounts for 69% of revenues. The company also sells directly to the US and foreign defense departments. Military sales (both directly and indirectly) account for about 45% of Ultralife's revenues.

The Battery & Energy Products segment, 78% of sales, makes lithium-manganese dioxide non-rechargeable batteries (to be discarded when discharged), including 9-volt, HIRate cylindrical, and Thin Cell, for such applications as smoke alarms, intensive care devices, radios, automotive telematics, night-vision devices, and thermal imaging equipment. The segment also makes lithium ion rechargeable batteries and charging systems for communications, medical, and portable electronic applications. In 2011 chargers were transferred from the Communications Systems segment to Battery & Energy Products. Supporting military communications, Communication Systems products are marketed under the McDowell Research and AMTI brands. To serve the demanding needs of both the US and approved foreign militaries, the Communication Systems' products are made to withstand severe environments.

Revenues fell 16% in 2011 compared with 2010. By segment, Battery & Energy Products rose about 3%. If not for a charge related to a settlement with the US government regarding contracts between 2003 and 2004, revenues for Battery & Energy Products over that period would have risen 5%. During the same period, Communications Systems plummeted 49% as a result mainly of the conclusion of satellite communications system contracts and lower demand from the US government for amplifiers because of delays in funding. Though the company has recorded net losses for the past three years, they have been decreasing. Ultralife's net loss was $9.2 million in 2009, $6.2 million in 2010, and $2.1 million in 2011.

Battery & Energy Products' strategy includes alliances with the OEMs and government entities who buy its products. The segment's sales and technical staff seek out feedback from such customers for product development. More generally the company touts such advantages of its lithium batteries as lighter weight and a longer shelf life. In an operational initiative, the segment has been transferring a large part of its 9-volt battery making operations from its New York plant to a facility in Shenzhen, China. The Communication Systems segment's RedBlack Communications unit, which markets mobile, modular, and fixed-site communication and electronics systems, has been put up for sale after struggling with operating losses. In 2011 the company discontinued its Energy Services segment to focus on Battery & Energy Products and Communications Systems.

Grace Brothers, Ltd. owns about 30% of Ultralife and is represented on the company's board by director Bradford Whitmore, a general partner of Grace Brothers.

▲ Show Less▼ Show Full Description

Ultralife Corporation

2000 Technology Pkwy
Newark, NY 14513-2175
Phone: 1 (315) 332-7100
Fax: 1 (315) 3317800


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: ULBI,
  • Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
  • Chief Financial Officer; Treasurer: Philip Fain
  • President; Chief Executive Officer; Director: Michael Popielec
  • Chairman: Bradford Whitmore

Major Office Locations

  • Newark, NY

Become a Vault Basic Member

Complete your Vault Profile and get seen by top employers